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Industry Insight

RISO/Kodak Deal Adds New Dimension to Inkjet


By Cary Sherburne
Published: August 6, 2010

Today, RISO announced that it had expanded its relationship with Kodak to offer customers the RISO ComColor cut-sheet inkjet printer as a complementary solution to its high-speed production VERSAMARK line.  The ComColor has been somewhat in a class of its own in the world of inkjet, at 150 ppm and with a very affordable price.  This affirmation by Kodak that  the ComColor can produce documents with a very similar look-and-feel to the VERSAMARK and its endorsement of the press as a companion reprint printer for the VERSAMARK is a big win for RISO.

The RISO ComColor has a duty cycle of about a half million pages per month, and should be able to handle both reprints and proofs in high volume VERSAMARK shops without needing to disrupt the complex production workflow these shops have in place for their production presses.  It should also be a sign to smaller print service providers that this product offers a very affordable way for them to serve small to mid-sized businesses with TransPromo solutions. The latest County Business Patterns data for 2008 (just released) reflects that there are nearly 7 million small businesses in the U.S. with less than 100 employees.  Kodak's validation of the ComColor press should give owners and managers of smaller printing businesses the confidence they need to pursue TransPromo and other transactional inkjet applications with existing and new customers to generate  new revenue streams without big investments.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By Rick Lindemann on Aug 07, 2010

Unless I'm mistaken, doesn't the RISO machine still use an oil-based ink? If so, the ink will certainly have a significantly different appearance, as it will lay quite differently on the paper. I can totally see it being a great fit for making up shortages for direct mail, etc, but I don't see it being usable as a proofing device.

As a user of high speed inkjet for over 9 years, it is vital that our customers see a proof of exactly what the final product will look like. This may change somewhat now that so many printers are putting in the shiny new high speed inkjet systems, but up to this point most customers are not familiar enough with inkjet printing and they need to see an accurate representation of how the final product will appear.

We have been looking for years for a device that will produce an accurate representation of the final product from an inkjet web press, with limited success.


By Cary Sherburne on Aug 07, 2010

Rick, you are obviously more knowledgeable about the details than I. The press release focused on using the device for short reprints; the proofing addition was mine. But I would assume that there is a subset of customers for whom this proofing mechanism would be acceptable.


By Pat McGrew on Aug 07, 2010


Rick - In one sense you are correct. They are different technologies so I can understand why you might wonder.

The team at RISO has worked diligently for the last several years to create a profile that allows the RISO to run with an image quality that is similar to that of the Versamark systems. The original requirement was to mimic 300dpi (no mean trick, but accomplished according to our customers who use it) and now 600 dpi for the VL DOD family.

You are absolutely correct that if you ran out of the box you'd see that difference you get when you use different ink technologies. If you want more on how to make it work, and you don't have a Kodak rep you are working with, drop me a line! I'm easy to find.

Another note - while this is a new press release, it does come after years of RISO and Kodak working together to meet the needs for of joint customers. These solutions have already been battle hardened!



By Bob Raus on Aug 07, 2010

Hi Rick,

You are correct, ComColor inks are oil based. Leveraging Kodak color management expertise, RISO and Kodak Versamark technical teams developed ComColor color profiles that produce a very close match to the print quality of Versamark VT3000, VX5000 and VL-series printers.

ComColor is the only line of high-speed, cut-sheet, full-color inkjet printers on the market today. Unlike Electrophotographic printers, ComColor has a unique ability to produce documents on the same paper stocks, with a very similar look-and-feel to Versamark high-performance inkjet systems. In addition, many leading print and mail companies use RISO inkjet printers to proof new and modified direct mail, statements, bills, letters, TransPromo and other documents destined for roll-fed inkjet printing systems.

Industrial-strength Piezo inkjet heads, a realistic duty-cycle of 500,000 prints per month, print speeds up to 150ppm and low running costs make ComColor a perfect solution for high-volume and mid-volume production printing operations. Please visit www.brainshark.com/riso/mvto to learn more.

Bob Raus, Manager Product Marketing – RISO Inc. rraus@riso.com


By Steve Kaufmann on Aug 09, 2010


As the Major Account Manager for RISO I have several Versamark customers that have our inkjet system for reprints, short runs, and proofing and I actually have a few customers who have a RISO inkjet printer exclusively for proofing. My team of color and workflow experts have done an outstanding job in integrating our technology into this environment.
I would like to discuss this further with you and I will call you later today.



By Gareth on Aug 11, 2010

This is good news for competition within the print industry, meaning that more companies can compete without the need for big investment.


By Michael Josefowicz on Aug 11, 2010

I'm cross posting the following from a Linked In Discussion Group: "The MVTO Movement - Solutions for Mid-Volume Transactional Printing"

I'm hoping other visitors can help me with a reality check. I'm seeing that Riso ComColor and Versamark are both lowest cost providers in the digital space. If I've got that right, it seems to be it might be a game changer.

The other thing I think I see is that RISO has a presence in many enterprise work groups. My bet is that RISO will be working pretty hard to replace RISO MFPs in the enterprise with the ComColor. If that's right, it'd be natural for them to get a connection between the enterprise printer and the production houses.

It's pretty much what I've been calling the Printernet for awhile now. It fits, I think, into Xerox 's Enterprise Print Service group and HPs Managed Print Services.

I would be very curious if folks thinks this makes sense... or do you think I'm just drinking my own Kool Aid.


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